Psalm 147

1 Praise the LORD, for it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant and fitting to praise him. 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem. He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. 4 He counts the number of the stars. He calls them all by their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power. His understanding is infinite. 6 The LORD upholds the humble. He brings the wicked down to the ground. 7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving. Sing praises on the harp to our God, 8 who covers the sky with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass grow on the mountains. 9 He provides food for the livestock, and for the young ravens when they call. 10 He doesn’t delight in the strength of the horse. He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. 11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his loving kindness. 12 Praise the LORD, Jerusalem! Praise your God, Zion! 13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates. He has blessed your children within you. 14 He makes peace in your borders. He fills you with the finest of the wheat. 15 He sends out his commandment to the earth. His word runs very swiftly. 16 He gives snow like wool, and scatters frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can stand before his cold? 18 He sends out his word, and melts them. He causes his wind to blow, and the waters flow. 19 He shows his word to Jacob; his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. 20 He has not done this for just any nation. They don’t know his ordinances. Praise the LORD!

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–11

Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man’s knowledge is soon ended; but God’s knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.

Verses 12–20

The church, like Jerusalem of old, built up and preserved by the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, is exhorted to praise him for all the benefits and blessings vouchsafed to her; and these are represented by his favours in the course of nature. The thawing word may represent the gospel of Christ, and the thawing wind the Spirit of Christ; for the Spirit is compared to the wind, Joh 3:8. Converting grace softens the heart that was hard frozen, and melts it into tears of repentance, and makes good reflections to flow, which before were chilled and stopped up. The change which the thaw makes is very evident, yet how it is done no one can say. Such is the change wrought in the conversion of a soul, when God’s word and Spirit are sent to melt it and restore it to itself.

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